A Dowagers hump is a term used when your upper back has an outward rounded curve. It is sometimes referred to as a question mark posture, and it is common in the elderly. It can lead to chronic back, shoulder and neck pain. It can also bring you out of balance and put you at a higher risk of a fall. Learning what causes this condition will help you to take the necessary steps to prevent it.
If you spend too much time working at a computer, table or any other situation that requires you to bend forward to work, you may be at risk for developing a Dowagers hump. Make sure you use good body mechanics when working and take frequent breaks to straighten your back and stretch.
Spending time rounded forward over your workstation can cause your chest muscles to become tight and weak, and your upper back muscles to become overstretched. Make sure your workout routine includes rows and pullbacks to strengthen the upper back as well as exercises to stretch the chest.
Osteoporosis is a condition that leads to frail bones. Simple everyday activities can lead to compression fractures and collapsed vertebrae. As this occurs a Dowagers hump may develop.
Having a Dowagers hump can lead to symptoms of chronic pain in the back and shoulders. You may also feel fatigued. Since your upper back is rounded forward your chest will have trouble expanding, which can make breathing more difficult.
Your best defense is to do all you can to prevent this condition. Know your risk for osteoporosis, and make sure you eat a well-balanced diet and get enough exercise to prevent this condition. Set up your workstation so you can use the best body mechanics as possible.